What is the dropController?
The dropController is a very accurate high speed solenoid valve controller used for water drop photography.
What is water drop photography?
Water drop photography, as the name may allude to, is capturing images of drops, splashes, and drop collisions. Water drop photography uses high speed photography techniques to freeze action that is not normally seen.
Is the dropController good for beginners?
Yes, absolutely. The dropController is easy to get started with and the Loop Mode makes getting your first collision very easy.
Will I out grow the dropController?
I can’t guarantee you will never out grow the dropController but is is highly unlikely. The dropController is available with 6, 8, or 16 valve ports that let you keep on expanding as you develop your drop photography. Once you have mastered the basics, the dropController has advanced functions to help you get to the next level.
dropControllerV3 – 6 ports. This is now the DIY version.
dropControllerV4 – 8 ports and 16 ports. 16 port version coming soon.
Is plain water good for water drop photography?
Not really. It is fun to play with when starting but plain water will not give you the complex shapes and collisions you may see online. For the complex shapes you need to add a thickening agent or use more viscous liquids.
What thickening agents do you recommend?
My go to thickeners are Guar powder and Xantham Gum but there are many others. Gelatine is fairly popular as well as commercial food and drink thickeners such as ThickenUP, Thick-It, Think & Easy, etc.
I have used, and still have a tub of ThickenUP, but since one of the main ingredients is Xanthan Gum I tend to use the Xanthan as it’s a lot cheaper.
Have do you get all those colours?
By adding colouring agents. Food colour is very popular and recently many people are using acrylic paints. Acrylic paint can easily be water down by mixing with water.
Adding a drop of milk to water mixed with food colouring gives a nice pastelly looking liquid similar to acrylic paint. Colours aren’t usually as vibrant as acrylic paint though.
Why do you always have the first drop starting at 100ms rather 0ms?
This allows me to move the first drop earlier without having to change the other drops. It is very easy to change 100ms to 90ms on a single drop. A bit more difficult to add 10ms to a lot of drops.
Is dropControllerV3 still supported?
Yes it is.
What is the difference between dropControllerV4 and dropControllerV4 mk-II?
dropControllerV4 mk-II has some changes internally that allow me to use the same main controller for a 8 valve system and a 16 valve system.
What is shoot from below (SFB)?
SFB is where a jet of liquid is shot upwards while at the same time, drops are dropped downwards. This can create really complex shaped collisions and splashes.
What is the difference between 12v solenoid valves and 24v solenoid valves?
24v valves required less current to open and, in theory, open a little quicker than their 12v counterparts. However, solenoid valves are mechanical devices , the speed difference is usually negligible, and you are unlikely to notice the difference. Because 24v valves require less current, driving multiple valves at the same time is easier with 24v.
What system voltage do you recommend?
I suggest 24v as the default, however, the current trend appears to suggest a move back to 12v. 12v was very common years ago.
If you are new, go with 24v. If you are an established water dropper match the dropController voltage with the valves you already have.
What is the difference between the 24v dropController and the 12v dropController?
Just the power supply.
If the only difference between the 12v dropController and the 24v dropController is the power supply. Does that mean I can change the system voltage by changing the power supply?
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